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No Clue About Jundal

In your recent endorsement of Bobby Jindal's candidacy for governor (Commentary, Nov. 4), you claim that "he is honest, focused and ready to hit the ground running. Equally important, we find him to be an independent thinker." Although Jindal is an Ivy League-educated Rhodes Scholar, he has publicly endorsed the teaching of "creationism" in public schools. Yeah, that Bobby is quite the man of principle, all right. Despite his many years at two of the most prestigious universities in the world, he has courageously resisted the temptation to learn the difference between scientific truth and superstitious nonsense. Or could it be that Bobby knows better, but has chosen to pander to the worst instincts of the mob in order to get himself elected? It would seem that Bobby is not so honest or not so smart.

While this hardly distinguishes him from other successful politicians, in Louisiana or anywhere else, it certainly disqualifies him from being described as "an independent thinker who is not afraid to differ with outgoing Gov. Mike Foster." In fact, Bobby's style is strikingly reminiscent of Foster's -- remember when Foster claimed to be implacably opposed to the expansion of gambling in Louisiana?

Of course, unlike his mentor (or his opponent), Jindal has never held elective office, so voters have no clue what kind of governor he might make. Maybe he truly is, in your words, "a refreshingly engaging leader who lives and breathes his core agenda." But can Louisiana, given its increasingly desperate social and economic problems, afford to give this untried novice the benefit of the doubt?

--Bruce D. Smith


Hand-picked By Foster

I was very disappointed to read your endorsement of Bobby Jindal in the governor's race (Commentary, Nov. 4). Your given rationale seems to be a gut feeling that Jindal will be better for the state's economy. That's it. You cavalierly brush aside his anti-choice platform and don't even mention his desire to include creationism in school curriculums, his statement that he is "disturbed" that people think the Foster administration did not do enough in the area of environmental enforcement, his attack on the judge who ruled that state license plates endorsing a pro-life platform were unconstitutional, and other public statements that show Jindal to be apparently courting the David Duke voting bloc. And you also dismiss his links to the Foster administration while simultaneously trying to distinguish between him and Foster. Do you really think someone that is Foster's hand-picked candidate is going to rock the house that Foster built? C'mon, guys.

Kathleen Blanco is certainly not my ideal candidate but neither does she come off as an ideologue. Recently, she stated that medical marijuana use should be researched more, while Jindal flat-out refused to consider such an idea; this from our supposed "medical background" candidate. At least Blanco seems to keep an open mind about such ideas.

Here's hoping people take your endorsement of Jindal the same way they took your endorsement of Randy Ewing -- by ignoring it.

--Geoff Paterson

 

'Ignorance and Politics'

Thanks for publishing the article on our gubernatorial candidates and their position on medical marijuana ("Pot and Politics," Nov. 4). Having voted for Bobby Jindal, I was shocked to hear that he is opposed to legislation protecting patients who find relief by using this natural medicine. The war against medical marijuana isn't about protecting patients. It's about ignorance and politics.

The DEA would have Americans believe that medical marijuana is a cruel hoax or myth. There are more than 60 cannabinoids found in marijuana. There is no question that these cannabinoids have medicinal value. Why else would pharmaceutical companies be scrambling to create synthetic versions of them?

Smoking isn't the only way to ingest marijuana. Patients can vaporize it, make tinctures, or use it in teas and food items. So the harmful effects of smoking are no excuse for our government's actions. We are now getting reports of studies from several nations, including our own, confirming the successful use of cannabinoids to treat muscular sclerosis, epilepsy and other sicknesses.

Other nations are distributing cannabis and cannabis-based medications via prescription to those who benefit from its use. In America, we incarcerate those who try to alleviate their pain and suffering by using cannabis. It's no coincidence that our brain is filled with cannabinoid receptors. Humans were meant to use this natural medicine, and our government will one day be held accountable for prosecuting sick and dying Americans.

--Scott Russ

  Shrimp Farm Industry Abroad

I am the associate for missions with the Presbytery of Western North Carolina. I was forwarded your article ("Net Loss," Oct. 14) by Kristina Peterson, who is a member of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Team for the Presbyterian Church (USA).

I wanted to let you know that there is also a lot of suffering for those abroad who live in communities to which the shrimp farm industry has come. The Presbytery of Western North Carolina has a covenant relationship with two small presbyteries in southwest Guatemala. One of the churches in Suchitepequez Presbytery is located on the island of Tecojate. Tecojate has been a place where the inhabitants make their living fishing. In the past few years, this source of income has been reduced because the small family operations cannot compete with big fishing companies.

But nothing has compared to the problems brought by the shrimp farms that have moved in. The inhabitants of Tecojate were led to believe that this industry would provide jobs for them. The reality has been that only one person was hired from the local community (at least, the last we heard); the rest were recruited from other parts of the country. We're guessing the reason is that those from outside the community would not object to the environmental degradation that has occurred, for it has been bad. Pollution of the lagoons means, among many other things, there is almost no fishing left.

--Virginia E. Stevens

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